Evans responds to criticism by educatorsWith all due...

LETTERS

June 28, 1998

Evans responds to criticism by educators

With all due respect to the choice for Anne Arundel County executive made by the Teachers Association of Anne Arundel County ("Teachers back outsiders against Gary, council members," June 16), I wish to set the record straight regarding my support for education.

During my tenure on the County Council, I have voted to provide money for the education of our young people over and above the requests of the former and current county executives. In my leadership role as council chairman for three years, and as an individual member of the council, additional dollars have been added for classroom teachers, staff for "Bridge the Gap," new schools, renovations, classroom partitions, textbooks and roofs.

To better understand the special education budget, I've actively participated with the Infants and Toddlers Interagency Coordinating Council. I continue to serve as a board member for Scholarships for Scholars. Within the 5th District, I secured interior walls for Folger McKinsey Elementary. The renovation and expansion of Broadneck High and Jones Elementary received my sustained support. Belvedere Elementary wouldn't have received the attention it was long due without my pushing the administration to fund this request. I worked for safe school walking routes in Cape St. Claire and Whitehurst.

This year alone I set the stage for the council to add additional money to fund the asbestos removal program so classroom lighting can be improved.

While the efforts to move money to the board were unsuccessful, I stood squarely for education. As the next county executive, I would demand educational excellence.

Diane Evans

Severna Park

The writer is a Democratic candidate for Anne Arundel County executive.

Articles helped focus debate on Clay Street

I would like to thank The Sun for its coverage of the recent controversy involving the Clay Street community and the Hope VI application. As your readers know, the Annapolis Housing Authority has decided not to put in an application to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development this year.

The Hope VI application met strong resistance from our community because we did not trust officials who were telling us this was a good program. They gave us no assurances that Hope VI would not become another massive displacement program.

People who live on Clay Street, as your reporter discovered, did not trust these officials. Just 15 years ago, HUD found that both the city of Annapolis and the housing authority had discriminated against African-Americans through their renewal programs.

We were told 15 years ago that our concerns were not justified. Fifteen years later, we have seen the impact of these programs. We want to see the Clay Street community improved, but we want these improvements to come with assurances. We want the residents who live on Clay Street to continue to have an opportunity to enjoy the last undeveloped waterfront property in Annapolis-College Creek Terrace.

Again, thanks to The Sun, we were able to win a victory. Who says you can't beat City Hall, the housing authority and special interests?

Robert Eades

Annapolis

Recycling today offers payoff in future

Craig Timberg's article, "Recycling hasn't lived up to hype," (May 25) suggests that Marylanders spend too much time and money pursuing the false promises of recycling, while landfills remain spacious, plentiful and cheap.

Hundreds of profitable Anne Arundel County firms practice recycling and waste reduction voluntarily, not to "save the planet," but to satisfy shareholders interested in the bottom line and dividend checks.

Likewise, Anne Arundel County continues its residential recycling programs because it's smarter than relying solely on huge out-of-state landfills or waste-to-energy facilities that will soon compete in a deregulated energy industry.

Land disposal carries a number of future hidden costs that are not included in the very low tipping fees of many of today's private facilities: future landfill replacement and liability risks to name a few.

In fact, low tipping fees are a very recent phenomenon of the past few years; the industry is so volatile that no one knows for just how long such prices will continue.

Recycling, on the other hand, shows all its costs up front, consumes only the land area required for processing facilities, .. and returns commodities to the shelf rather than burying them.

Ironically, the offsetting environmental and societal benefits of recycling are almost impossible to calculate and are therefore largely ignored in this kind of debate.

Continuing at last year's rate of recycling, Anne Arundel County could double the projected lifespan of its only landfill and delay borrowing millions of dollars required to expand it. This money may then remain in the economy for better uses.

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